Unlike the agreement the UAW reached with General Motors in September, the tentative contract with Chrysler gives few guarantees. Belvidere’s only guarantee is that it will be open through the end of the product life-cycle of the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.
Those launched in 2006, so they should have several years to run. But Patriot sales have been lukewarm at best and reports last week indicated Chrysler may eliminate as many as five nameplates this year, including the Compass. The crossover was panned by critics and Jeep purists from the start.
Mayne of WardsAuto.com reported that production of the Caliber SRT4, the 300-horsepower muscle car version of the Caliber, was pushed back to late in the fourth quarter because of the various Chrysler plant shutdowns.
And Consumer Reports released its annual reliability rankings and the Caliber, still the star of the plant, was rated the least reliable small car along with the Volkswagen Jetta.